How Working Remotely Will Impact the Future of Employee Recognition

What we know about recognition at work & navigating remote communication between managers and employees.
How Working Remotely Will Impact the Future of Employee Recognition
Erika Rykun

With remote work becoming the norm for many companies, employees across the board have expressed fears that they’re “out of sight, out of mind”.

While employees generally prefer to be out of sight of overly-critical managers, remote work has added the concern that employees are less-valued.

Traditional workplace dynamics and occurrences, like hearing a casual, but uplifting “good job on those reports!” while an employee passes their manager in the hall, those have certainly disappeared.

It’s easy to neglect words of encouragement when communication is done through chat apps, and managers have to actually remember to give positive feedback to employees, whereas it occurs more naturally when you pass an employee in the hall.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the impact remote work has had so far on remote employee recognition and job satisfaction, and how both managers and employees can best navigate remote communication.

What We Know About Recognition at Work

Numerous studies have been done on remote workers and job engagement (too many for me to mention right now), and while initial data shows that remote employee recognition hasn’t completely fallen through, it’s not practiced as often as HR managers would recommend to be ideal.

Let’s imagine a team of real estate agents operating entirely remotely 🏡 Within the office, opportunities for praise might come up more regularly, like a team leader passing by an employee’s desk who is taking initiative on a project and giving them some positive input and affirmation. On the other hand, working from home as a real estate professional has less of these spontaneous moments of praise, and perhaps only really noteworthy accomplishments might be praised remotely via a group chat or private email.

You might be thinking, “well, isn’t it better if employees are recognised for the things that really matter?”, but it needs to be emphasised that little tokens of praise and encouragement serve as morale boosters within the work environment.

The issue thus is how do we transfer that traditional culture of “in sight, in mind” office praise to the “out of sight, out of mind” remote workspaces?

HR leaders and experts recommend that managers and leaders must take consistent, regular action to encourage employee participation. Employee performance cannot be improved just through annual or quarterly awards and incentives.

“48% of “Awesome” culture ratings were given in companies where recognition takes place at least once a week.” — Culture at Work 2020 Paper

In a separate study, Authentic Recognition conducted a poll and discovered:

  • Daily recognition was given to 2% of the participants.
  • Weekly recognition was given to 11% of those who participated.
  • Quarterly recognition was given to 20% of the employees.
  • Annual recognition was given to 17% of employees.
  • No attention was given to the remaining 29%.

Employee appreciation should be done on a frequent basis and in a timely manner, according to best practices. If you lead a team of ten people, those figures indicate that at least two of your employees have been acknowledged for exceptional performance in the preceding seven days.

In addition, 58 percent of HR experts urge managers to give their staff greater thanks and recognition to encourage their commitment.

In other words, it is a win-win scenario for everybody to recognise personnel. The morale of employees is increased further by the growth in general performance of the company, and they’re also inspired to enhance their personal performance.

Company Culture is Tied to Recognition in the Workplace

When employees’ passion, well-being, and accomplishment goals are met, they become more connected to their workplace. Fostering a culture of recognition in the workplace has a number of positive impacts on both employees and management.

Putting employees’ passion, well-being, and success ahead of the company’s goals means creating values with them, effective emotional connections with the company, and overall successful employees since they know which behaviours are expected. It is also management’s responsibility to acknowledge exceptional work!

As we all know, individuals who feel appreciated at work are more likely to want to stay with the company for a longer time.

How Remote Employees Can Get a Little More Recognition

Participate in as many virtual and optional meetings as possible to ensure that your workers and management see your active leadership. Even though you don’t work physically together, you should dress and position your camera appropriately as if you were.

Concentrate on forming connections.

Although someone may have a proactive attitude toward challenges, contributing ideas and assisting colleagues, it might be necessary to demonstrate — not explain — why you want to be recognised at work.

Keep track of your accomplishments to show yourself, your team and the organisation how you’re growing and achieving your goals.

When it’s time for your performance evaluation, it’s okay to keep a brag-sheet and point out all your efforts.

When the time comes, it may help you attain higher objectives like a new position at the company or a great referral.

How Remote Managers Can Give a Little More Recognition

It’s a wonderful idea to reward your employees for their long-term contribution to the company. Recognising daily accomplishments, on the other hand, is possibly far more important.

Establish a team standard for sending Hi5’s, messages or making video calls to celebrate each other.

This type of micro-recognition helps to foster a supportive atmosphere and reminds employees of the value they’re adding.

Make It Realistic and Timely

Acknowledgement should be timely, relevant, and interconnected. Enjoying your virtual team members right now provides immediate enjoyment, which contributes to a sense of belonging to the group.

Personalise your ‘Thank you’ messages to make them more valuable to your co-workers.

Find Out About Co-workers’ Accomplishments

Although it may appear strange, one of the simplest ways for leaders to communicate their appreciation is for employees is to ask them what they are doing and then listen.

Rather than assuming what your co-workers want, ask them. Most of the time, employees do want to be publicly recognised for their efforts or sacrifices that aren’t visible to others. Other times, they may want a personal and private message or email to convey your sincere appreciation, or even a sit-down lunch with you.

Create an Internal Reward System

There is no better way to show appreciation for an employee than to provide a spot bonus. Employee loyalty and dedication are enhanced by a dynamic internal employee benefits package.

This is a practical way to thank employees for their great work, because an email or a few thumbs up emoji in a text message aren’t always adequate 👎

Why Employee Recognition Matters

Employee appreciation is frequently recommended since it has a number of associated benefits. Before looking into the best ways for virtual employee recognition, we’ll go over a few of the most compelling reasons why companies should be willing to invest in making their employees feel valued:

  • Employees who are not acknowledged are twice as likely to announce their intention to quit the following year.
  • 58 percent of employees believe that being acknowledged at work boosts their motivation.
  • In companies with strong incentive programs, 90 percent of employees believe their efforts make a difference.
  • 40% believe they will put more effort into their work if they are recognised more frequently.
  • Effective employee appreciation improved company loyalty and customer happiness.

It’s worth noting that these are benefits that appear at regular intervals. Furthermore, because many employees are suddenly at risk of losing their employment due to distance, frequent recognition is not only adding value to your company, but it is also minimising losses.

About the Author

Erika Rykun is a copywriter and content manager. She is an avid reader and runner. You can get in touch with her on Twitter.